Part 1: Subscription Management
Interface to subscribe to one or more YouTube RSS feeds:
Recently Added (http://youtube.com/rss/global/recently_added.rss
Recently Features (http://youtube.com/rss/global/recently_featured.rss
Top Favorites (http://youtube.com/rss/global/top_favorites.rss
Top Rated (http://youtube.com/rss/global/top_rated.rss
Most Viewed Today (http://youtube.com/rss/global/top_viewed_today.rss
Most Viewed this week (http://youtube.com/rss/global/top_viewed_week.rss
Most Viewed this month (http://youtube.com/rss/global/top_viewed_month.rss
Most Discussed Today (http://youtube.com/rss/global/most_discussed_today.rss
Most Discussed this week (http://youtube.com/rss/global/most_discussed_week.rss
Most Discussed this month (http://youtube.com/rss/global/most_discussed_month.rss
Option to select the number of daily downloads per each subscription (1-5)
Option to select the maximum number of daily downloads (1-10)
Part 2: Downloads
Determine and download FLV (Flash Video) file from YouTube. Several websites offer similar functionality:
From the RSS feed, determine the URL for the video, such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSVAvLPmxoc
For a quick proof of concept, I used the http://www.videodl.org/
to convert the HD TiVo video file from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSVAvLPmxoc
and saved the resulting file as TiVo_S3_HD.flv
It would be nice if one of these sites offers a WebService that can be called to derive a flash video file from a given YouTube URL. Or if I can obtain the source code to build the call into a Java app.
Part 3: Conversion to a format that TiVo can understand.
This is where things got interesting. Using http://media-convert.com
‘s service I made several attempts at directly converting the file as well as the URL to mpg. Nothing seemed to work correctly and I either ended up with A/V sync issues, black video or no audio. The best success was achieved by using service to convert a FLV file (not a URL) to WMV.
Next I used Nero Vision 7, added the WMV file to a “new video” and exported to SVCD. SVCD works nice with TiVo because it really just results in a 480X480 MPG file.
Part 4: Transfer to TiVo
This part was easy, with TiVo desktop installed I just dropped the mpg file in the TiVo directory and then browsed to my PC from a TiVo Series 2. Unfortunately TiVo transfers are not allowed on my Series 3.
The results were decent, about what I expected, grainy video and decent mono audio.
Putting it all together, here is what I think I need:
• Callable WebService for http://www.videodl.org
• Callable WebService for http://media-convert.com
• Use Nero’s API for conversion to mpg
I like the idea of using WebServices to cut down on the troubleshooting and maintenance of the application. My experience has been that things get flakey when you are reliant on one or more codecs being installed on a PC. As a side benefit, nothing to worry about with licensing.
Does anyone have any better ideas?